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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, September 17, 2002
    Looking ahead to Antrim
    Well, that's November sorted out. After some discussion I've arranged my 'Third Year Project'. The idea is to "spend some time during the year doing some work on an area of ministry that is of special interest to you" and my idea was to do something in the area of peace and reconciliation: in particular looking at how Christians / churches may pursue these goals in places where there is a culture of conflict.

    I am especially interested in how to pursue peace and reconciliation locally; tangibly. The church has been very good at educating people into militarism, not so good at peace education - and I hope to play a small role in restoring that balance. So I hoped to spend time among people who are working at conflict resolution, peace education etc, and to reflect what I learn from them back into my home situation.

    The outcome is that Trevor Williams, the leader of the Corrymeela Community has invited me over to their Ballycastle Centre, for month beginning with a week of study with James Alison (see my blog of September 2) on 'The God of Violence' then taking in visits by all sorts of groups, working with families, schoolchildren, church leaders, college students and others on the themes of peace and reconciliation. And hopefully visits to people and projects in other parts of Northern Ireland. Through which I should learn a lot.

    Maybe not as glamorous as the Third Year Project another colleague is proposing - to spend time in Canada "shooting women Bishops" (she's a professional photographer); nor as deeply academic as others. But through listening to many stories and seeing the consequences of people committed to building understanding and enabling reconciliation, it should be a rich experience.